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Rules and Track Specifications

The following are the official rules and track specifications of sanctioned IBDA races.

Track Dimensions

           Inside width – 7 ¾”
           Inside height – 1 7/8”
           Overall track length – 45’ recommended minimum
           Actual race length – 30’ Start line to finish line
           Tracks are 12” apart


            110 volt North America (220 volt elsewhere)
            Both tracks should be on same circuit or both need to be on circuits free of load.
            Both tracks should run off a heavy duty switched power bar.


            The track bottom should be made out of ¾” plywood. Side rails typically are made of melamine for it’s hard slippery surface. The starting line should have a guide that the sanders can be pushed up against so they are starting at exactly the same point. The finish line should be clearly marked with checkered flags and line drawn on track. After finish line, there should be a minimum 15’ of run off and padding should be placed for sanders to run into. The track should be decorated in race theme with checkered flags and banners
Note: The official IBDA podium and track has a timing system with infrared sensors at the finish line to give accurate results.


There are three categories of competition.

  • Stock

            Stock sanders must be store bought unmodified sanders.  They cannot have had any changes done that would affect the motors speed.  They must use a standard store bought abrasive belt of any grit.  No alteration to the belt is allowed.  Stock sanders can (encouraged) be decorated and a guild system is allowed to help the sander go straight down the track.  Keep in mind that any decorations should not drop below 2” from the track as they could interfere with the side rails.  Sanders should be locked in the power “on” position.

  • Modified

            Modified sanders are just that.  They have had modification done to increase the speed the belt travels.  Many modified sanders have tried other motor sources including grinder motors and router motors.  The only rules a modified sander has to follow are 1 – must fit onto the track, 2 – plug into a standard 3 prong 110v outlet , 3 - must use an unaltered store bought sanding belt of any grit.

  • Best Decorated

            Decorating sanders is one of the highlights of every race event.  All participants are encouraged to decorate their race entries in whatever way they want.  Prizes should be given to best decorated.  Categories can be divided up by age groups, theme, crowd favorite and/or others relative to the races event.  Make sure no decorations fall below the two-inch height of the side rails.  Best-decorated winners are announced before the race starts.

Event Rules

            One person is identified as the “race official”.  In the event of any issues during the race event his/her word is final. Two “track officials” are responsible for assisting the placement of sanders at the start position and retrieving sanders at the end. They also act as judges at the finish line making decisions on winners of close races. In the event of a sander not being powered “on”, entries have one false start opportunity for the entire race event. On the second false start the sander forfeits the race.  Race events are structured on a double elimination bracket giving every entry at least two opportunities to race. 

20" Powermatic Planer

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